For those in the D.C. area, The Million DJ March will take place on August 29-30, 2008 at the Washington National Mall.
"Disc jockeys will gather from all over the world to discuss the current state of the DJ, and highlight the true integral importance of their role. They will listen to speeches from leaders of music groups, founding DJs, and Civil Rights activists all on the dawn of a new election year."
Due to obvious contradictions involving speakers, sponsors, and the event’s overall concept, a serious debate ensued as to whether or not this event should be mentioned on Crate Kings; however, in the interest of intelligent debate we decided it had to be discussed.
At this point in time (upcoming elections, criticism of lyrical content, etc.), we have to wonder if it would be wise to openly mix Hip-Hop and politics, especially considering recent celebrity missteps and the fact that Hip-Hop artists haven’t exactly developed a reputation for making the most savvy public comments or legal maneuvers. It just so happens that the most outspoken figures tend to be those that would often be better off in silence.
Furthermore, those involved with the march bring into question its legitimacy. While the name itself is a direct nod to the original Million Man March, simply involving sponsors that markets themselves to a readership interested in tales of criminal exploits and street politics could be perceived as an insult to the spirit of the 1995 event.
There are certainly a number of promotional, compensation, and legal concerns that need to be addressed and clarified between DJ’s and the recording industry, however, I find it deeply concerning that the inherent nature of the march being an entertainment related event may undermine any and all genuine merit.
As Hip-Hop continues to struggle for legitimacy, I hope the march remains true to the marketing rhetoric of addressing serious issues and doesn’t spiral into a party on the front steps of Congress.
Note: "The Million DJ March supports all forms of live music and will donate all proceeds from the march to keep music alive in Public Schools."
Is anyone planning to attend the march? What are your thoughts?
Some ideas to consider:
- Is the event being promoted as a large party?
- Should other tactics be explored?
- Should DJ’s directly challenge legal issues surrounding the distribution and sale and use of mixtapes? Is this a legitimate argument?
- Should DJ’s explore the idea of a labor union similar to SAG?
- Is this a topic that would be better suited for organized behind closed doors discussion with qualified legal representation?